Tom Mulvihill, The Daily Telegraph, September 16, 2013
The new edition of Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships picked out the Europa 2, the first time a new ship has been selected for 14 years.
The Europa 2 takes the title from its sister ship, Europa. Both vessels are in the small ships category (251 to 750 passengers), belonging to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and were the only ships to have a 5-star + rating.
The Berlitz publication is currently in its 29th year, with its guide to cruise lining considered one of the most authoritative available.
The author of the guide, Douglas Ward – also a regular contributor to Telegraph Travel – described the Europa 2 as “a stunningly spacious, top-notch informal ship for sophisticated cosmopolitan travellers and their families... the benchmark in contemporary cruising.
“The choice of dining venues and types of cuisine are excellent and the service is attentive and friendly but unobtrusive.
“It all adds up to the very best informal cruise ship available today – unless you own a private motor yacht.”
Cunard ships dominated the Large Resort Ship category, with Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria all in the top five.
Seabourne dominated the Small and Boutique Ships categories with six ships in the top 20; while Silversea took five of the top 10 places in the Small Ships Category.
The app for the Berlitz Cruise Ships 2014 edition was released this weekend, while the paperback and ebook will be published on October 1.
A dining terrace on Europa 2
Top five cruise ships in each category
Top 5 Large Resort Ships (with more than 1,750 passengers)
Queen Mary 2 (Grill Class)
Top 5 Mid-size Ships (751 – 1750 passengers)
Top 5 Small Ships (251 – 750 passengers)
Top 5 Boutique Ships (50 – 250 passengers)
Sea Cloud II